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Top 5 Record Holders
1. Largest Rodent - Capybara
2. Tallest Mammal - giraffe
3. Smallest Canid - Fennec Fox
4. Largest Predatory Bird - Andean Condor
5. Fastest Land Mammal - Cheetah 

Animal Profiles

Top 5 Record Holders

Capybara

Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
Family: Rodentia
STATUS: Common

FEATURES

Capybaras are excellent swimmers, having partially-webbed toes and eyes, ears and nostrils that show above the water when swimming.
They escape predators (anaconda, jaguar, puma, ocelot, eagle and caiman) by diving into water and hiding in floating vegetation.
They live in family groups and are active at dawn and dusk. Weight: 35 - 66 kg, shoulder height 50 - 60 cm.

DIET

Aquatic plants, grasses, tree bark, grains, melons, and occasionally crops.

BREEDING
Usually has 4 babies in a litter, but can be 2 - 8.
Pregnancy lasts 15 - 18 weeks.

DISTRIBUTION
Dense Amazon rain forest - around lakes, streams and marshes.
South America - North and East.

DID YOU KNOW..?

A capybara looks like a giant guinea pig.
It is the largest rodent in the world.



Giraffe

Family: Bovidae
Scientific name: Giraffa camelopardalis
STATUS: Common

FEATURES

The world's tallest living animal.
Females weigh about 800kg, males 1 200kg, a newborn calf 100kg.
Height to top of head: Male 5m, female 4,5m.

DIET
Exclusively browsers - leaves of trees and shrubs, creepers, vines, flowers, seed pods and fruits.

BREEDING
1 calf is born after 15 months gestation. A cow may have her next baby 20 months later.

DISTRIBUTION
Savanna to thick bushveld, mostly with Acacia trees.
Africa, south of the Sahara - East, West, southern - Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, eastern South Africa, Mozambique.

DID YOU KNOW..?
Giraffes cope with Acacia thorns by having a tough palate and lots of viscous saliva to help swallow

Fennec Fox

Vulpes zerda or Fennecus zerda
Family: Canidae
STATUS: Vulnerable
CITES: Appendix II

FEATURES

This is the smallest fox in the world,
yet it has the largest ears. Its name comes from an Arabic word for "fox".
The ears radiate heat to keep the foxes cool and to hear the movement of prey.
Several Fennecs may live together in
large dens extending up to 10 meters.
They are nocturnal (hunt at night).
Weight up to 1.5 kg, height 20 cm, the tail is about 25 cm long and ears 15 cm long.

DIET
Omnivorous - rodents, insects (eg. locusts), lizards, birds and bird eggs.

BREEDING
2 - 5 young in a litter. They rely
on their mother's milk for about
a month.

DISTRIBUTION
North and West Africa - the Sahara desert, parts of Arabia, Israel, Kuwait, Oman.

DID YOU KNOW..?
The fennec gets most of its water from food, and sometimes eats berries and leaves for extra water.

Andean Condor

Vultur Gryphus
Family: Cathartidae
STATUS: Endangered

FEATURES
The largest bird of prey in the world,
adult males weigh: 9 - 11 kg. Height 1.2m. Wingspan up to 3.5m.
Longevity about 50 years.

Females have bright red eyes, males have a fleshy head crest.

DIET
Carrion (carcasses), newborn animals,
bird eggs.

BREEDING
Nest on steep cliff ledges. 1egg is laid every second year, and incubated for 54 - 58 days. Both parents care for the young, which leaves them in its second year.

DISTRIBUTION
South America - along the Andes mountain range.

DID YOU KNOW..?
The Condor has no voice box and is mostly silent, but will hiss and cluck in courtship.

Cheetah

Acinonyx jubatus
Family: Felidae
STATUS:
Vulnerable (IUCN), Endangered (CITES).
Asiatic sub-species Critically Endangered

FEATURES

The semi-retractile claws provide traction during running.

In Hindi, cheetah means "spotted one.
The tawny to pale buff coat is marked with black spots. The cheetah has a small head with large, high-set eyes and a black 'tear-drop' line from each inner eye down to the mouth. These lines may reduce glare from the sun.

DIET

Small antelope, game birds, rabbits and the young of warthogs and large antelope.

BREEDING
Gestation lasts 90 to 95 days.
Usually 3 to 5 young born.

DISTRIBUTION
Savanna or grassland.

Currently sub-Saharan Africa
and Northern Iran.

DID YOU KNOW..?
The cheetah is the fastest terrestrial mammal, with a top speed of 96 - 112 km per hour for short distances (Guinness Book of Animal Facts & Feats), 104.4 kph proven (Guinness Book of Records 2005).



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